22 August, 2009

Dems Behaving Badly

Sen. Max Baucus isn't the only Dem who needs a good swift kick in the arse. We've unfortunately got plenty of Dems who just don't understand what's in their party's best interests, not to mention the country's.

Here's Rep. Boucher, showing a touching concern for the poor, downtrodden insurance companies:
Earlier this week, Democrat Rick Boucher (VA) held a health care town hall in Dublin, VA. To his credit, Boucher informed the crowd that “the public option is not socialized medicine,” a statement that elicited boos and jeers from the audience. Boucher said he is a skeptic of the public option because he’s concerned it will be too popular:

“I have a problem with this government option plan,” Boucher said. “I’m troubled that the government option plan could become very popular and if it became sufficiently popular it could begin to crowd out the other” private insurance companies.

Well, Rick, that would be just too fucking bad. It would be just awful if insurance companies didn't find ways to retain customers in the face of stiff competition. But you know what? Most of us don't give two shits about them. Their survival isn't paramount - ours is. You might want to talk to some actual sick people to discover what health care reform is really about.

Take Mike Ross with you:

Mike Ross, who bragged about killing single payer by holding the health care bill hostage, seems to be on his own page on health care reform:

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said on Wednesday that providing healthcare to uninsured Americans is "not what this healthcare reform debate is about."

In making his comments, Ross, who is the centrist Blue Dogs' health reform point man, questioned one of the primary healthcare goals of the White House and Democratic leaders.

"That is a side benefit to healthcare reform and an important one," Ross told the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Instead, the fifth-term congressman said the bill should focus on "cost containment."

Ross held the health care bill hostage until rural Medicare reimbursement rates were increased, which increased costs. Ross also demanded a public plan to no longer be tied to Medicare rates, which increased costs. Mike Ross supported the 12 year monopoly on biologic drugs for pharmaceuticals, which increased costs.

The only thing Mike Ross did in the way of "cost containment" was to demand that less money be spent. Which means that pharmaceutical companies and hospitals and doctors and device makers get more money, but fewer people will be covered and insurance payments for middle class people will be higher.

If you fucktards were really for cost containment, you would've gone for single-payer. So all this focus on "cost containment" is really code for protecting the corporations that fill your campaign coffers. Don't think we don't know that. And don't think we won't remember come Election Day.

Meanwhile, Steny Hoyer happily undercuts Nancy Pelosi and wonders if the public option is really necessary. I've got his answer right here.

And if the fact that 77% of the American public wants a public option doesn't convince you, maybe losing your biggest supporters will:

Instead of real health care reform, a small group of conservative Democrats in the House and Senate are working with Republicans in a bid to tax the same health benefits union members made countless concessions for, while dropping the public option that would lower the skyrocketing health care costs that are keeping many working people up late at night.

Every major poll indicates overwhelming support for a public option and intense opposition to a health benefits tax that would force working Americans to subsidize irresponsible employers like Wal-Mart who underinsure their employees. I know that everywhere I travel, I am met with outrage and anger by union members and unrepresented workers who trusted the Democrats to stand beside the president and pass real reform.

Despite this anger, senators like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad continue to reject a public option and have consistently called for a health benefits tax on 160 million working Americans.

We in the labor movement have always stood with the Democratic Party through the highs and its lows. We have donated to the more conservative Democrats, promised that they would stand with us when the time came. We did more than uphold our part of the bargain. We worked day in and day out to help deliver the Democratic majorities in the House and in the Senate. In fact, the Center for Public Integrity reports that the majority of contributions made to the so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats come from the same working men and women of the labor movement they now try to ignore, not the health insurance industry or Big Business.

Those same working people have not just donated financially through their unions. For a long time, they have been called upon and delivered in performing the grunt work on many of these political campaigns. They have time and time again manned the phone banks, walked precincts, manned get-out-the-vote (GOTV) programs and distributed leaflets for all Democratic candidates across the country.

We have been promised that when push came to shove, the Blue Dogs would join their fellow Democrats and stand by working people.

Push has come to shove. And from the way things now stand, union members feel deceived.

Due to this, my union, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA), has decided to suspend all financial and intangible campaign activity in support of every political candidate until real health care reform is passed.
Shape up or get shipped out, boys. It's that simple.

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